“What Must I Do To Be Saved?” someone asked in Acts 16:30. Paul's answer was simple: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your family.”
No list of do's and don'ts?
No way to earn or deserve it?
Salvation is a free gift. A priceless gift, that no one could ever be good enough to earn or deserve. This free gift is referred to as "grace.”
While we should obviously obey God's Word and live by sound moral code and conscience, none of that saves us.
God explains that further in Titus 3:5-8 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
You see? We are NOT saved by our good works, but since we ARE saved (by grace through faith) already… our desires change and we end up wanting to do what's right.
We do the good things out of a grateful heart for the gift we have received—not to earn the gift. God's "grace” literally means “His unmerited favor” & “His undeserved love.”
God makes clear that no one is saved, or forgiven, or justified by their good works. He offers you eternal life as a gift. But that gift is found only in Jesus Christ.
In Acts 4:12 Peter (talking about Jesus) tells the religious rulers, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other Name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
Jesus clearly said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”
Through Jesus, God takes away our sins, and gives us His gift of salvation and righteousness. This gift of salvation is like an exchange. Many refer to it as, the Great Exchange. He exchanges your old life… for His new life. Your sin… for His righteousness! Many people try to get their life straightened out before they come to God. But we can't change spiritually, until we are born-again. (John 3:3). We could never get clean enough to stand in the presence of a sinless, spotless, holy God. That's why He cleanses us of our sin through the blood of Jesus!
I John 1:7-9
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”